Jet lag can be a pain to deal with when all you want to do is make the most of your precious travel time. Crossing multiple time zones, especially when travelling east, can really knock your system. At best, your sleeping patterns will be affected slightly. At worse, you could spend a few days or longer in some cases wandering around in a complete disorientated daze, aching all over and unable to function properly. While it’s impossible to completely avoid being jet lagged, there are precautions you can take to minimise the effects. Read on for some essential jet lag tips!
Select the right flights
If possible, try to select a flight that means you’ll arrive at a destination during daylight hours. Being exposed to natural sunlight will aid your body clock in adapting more quickly to the time zone change. For particularly long journeys, fitting a stop-over in between is well worth considering. Even having a few hours spent in an airport where you can have a shower and properly stretch your legs can help to significantly reduce tiredness. You could even decide to stay over at an airport hotel or spend a few days in that location if it’s of interest. Another benefit of including a stop-over is that there are usually fantastic deals to be found on non-direct flights.
Get plenty of rest
There are all sorts of tips and fads flying around about how to avoid jet lag when flying across different time zones. What should be focused on however is being well rested prior to the flight. Especially in the few days before travelling, getting a decent night’s sleep will prepare your body and ensure it’s as strong as can be. If you have a particularly regimented sleep routine, you’re more likely to be jet lagged than somebody with a more flexible schedule. Shifting your sleeping hours even by an hour or two either way a week or so beforehand (bearing in mind the time zone you’ll be flying to) is likely to reduce the impact. Try to take power naps during the flight to keep your energy levels up.
Adapt to the new time zone
The worst thing you can do on arrival is head straight to bed when it’s only midday in the new time zone. No matter how tired you feel, it’s important to get on local time immediately. If you’re wondering how to get over jet lag quickly, get out into the fresh air and sunlight, adapt eating patterns (opt for lighter meals if not very hungry) and try to stay awake until at least 10 pm. Don’t be tempted to lie down ‘just for a moment’ as once you’re out it will be much harder to get back up again.
Do you have any more tips to add on how to avoid jet lag? Share your advice in the comments section below!